Riyadh, 16 June 2020
Professor Vladimir Popov, Research Director in Economics and Political Sciences at the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC), participated at the Breakout Session of the T20 Task Force 4 on ‘Social Cohesion and the State’ during the T20 Web Conference where leading experts, scientists, officials and representatives from international organisations discussed the current state of policy recommendations for a post-COVID-19 world. As a result of the inclusive and participatory process in collaboration with leading regional and international think thanks created by the T20, and in line with the priorities of the G20, key policy recommendations will be published and presented to the G20 Members at the forthcoming G20 Summit in Saudi Arabia.
DOC is successfully contributing to the process with two policy briefs selected by an international committee of experts. The policy brief about ‘Life Expectancy In Turbulent Times: What High Income Countries Can learn from the 1990s Mortality Crisis in Postcommunist States‘ by Prof. Vladimir Popov developed in co-authorship with Prof. Giovanni Andrea Cornia, University of Florence and Prof. Roberto De Vogli, University of Padua and resulting from DOC´s Research Project ‘Mortality and life expectancy in post-communist countries’, was presented during the T20 Web Conference Breakout Session.
The mortality crisis in post-communist countries that has a lot of similarities with the recent changes in health status in developed countries and many developing countries, such as China and India. Prof. Popov discussed the importance of several under-researched phenomena which enable the study of the impact that decreased social dynamism and social stress have on the health status of societies. The problem remains of finding an optimal measure of social changes that is beneficial to the quality and longevity of life. Thus, concrete policy measures like the introduction of participatory democracy, the reconstruction of local social capital at the community level, the reduction of factors causing stress related mortality (i.e. measures to ensure stable employment and working conditions, active and passive labour market policies, credit/grants to set up new SMEs, public works schemes, income transfer programs, social pensions, measures to contain the increase in wage inequality and overall inequality beyond what is deemed a tolerable level), as well as measures to support families and health/social sector related measures would enable the limitation of the negative effects of social stress and sustainably improve the health status, inclusiveness and social dynamism of societies.
Prof. Vladimir Popov said “Mortality crisis in post-communist countries – the decline in life expectancy in the 1990s in the former Soviet republics and East European countries – enables a study of the impact of life style and social stress on health status. This study helps to explain the stagnation and even decline in life expectancy in the US and the number of European countries (Greece, Italy, the UK) in recent years”.
The video stream of the conference is available here on T20 Saudi Arabia’s Youtube Channel.
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